Posts tagged: lesser spotted dogfish

Seaford Doggy Session

By , 7 April, 2011 10:48

Yesterday evening, I had another ‘big bait only’ session over at Seaford beach. Arriving in the West View area of the beach at about 7pm in daylight, I found a flat calm sea with a gentle swell, no wind at all and a clear sky. I was going to fish from 8pm low water up and over the 2am high water.

Plan was to fish one rod at varying distances in the medium range and one rod at the closer ranges. Both rods were setup with a long link running ledger ending in a 5/0 pennel arrangement. The medium distance rig was baited up with whole squid, while the closer range bass rod used launce.

After both rods were cast out, I did some practising on the new camera (Fuji S2500HD), to get a feel for it. There are far more variables and settings on this compared to my last one, which was a pocket compact and looking at the results, I really do need to do more practising and tinkering to get better pictures.

Sunset 1

Sunset 2

Sunset 3

Once I’d finished messing around with the camera and darkness fell, I got down to the serious business of fishing properly. The first fish didn’t show up until about 9pm when I saw the bass rod tip diping and bouncing away. I lifted into some weight and within seconds, a lesser spotted dogfish (LSD) was on the beach. Once despatched, I re-baited and lobbed another launce out to about forty yards out. I then tried a ‘self portrait’ photo but the result was crap to say the very least.

10.20 saw the bass rod on the go again and soon, another LSD was on the beach. Photo opportunity number 2. The result is not good – the composition and stuff isn’t too bad and the doggy looks ok but who the hell is the bloke holding the fish?? Anna, my lovely FPO summed it up nicely when she said ‘”Darling, you need to work on your smile. You look like you’ve got a brain problem – a real gumby”. Well thanks for that love, there’s nothing like having your self esteem smashed on the rocks of honesty and love. Having looked at the picture again, I think she may have a point.

A further two LSD’s were beached during the session, before I called it a night at 2am. Out of the four LSD’s caught, three were taken on launce and one on squid and all were caught within the fifty yard range. Three were males and one female. Three were prepared for the pot and the one female was released.

Seaford Dogs

By , 23 March, 2011 10:09

It wasn’t that long ago that after being fed up with just catching pin whiting and slugs (rockling) session after session, I said I would pack up fishing proper until the start of April. Anyway, I just couldn’t resist the lure of the beach, so last night found me at Seaford with rod in hand – if you’ll pardon the expression. I got there at about 8.30pm to fish the tide up to the 12.40am high water – big tide too at 7.2m. Conditions were less than ideal, a flat, oily calm sea which was as clear as gin. No wind at all, not even the slightest breath of a breeze. To cap it all off, the sky was crystal clear with a big and very bright moon.

I had decided that to avoid whiting and slugs, I would stick with my plan of all or nothing and fish just one rod and use large launce (sandeel) for bait. So a long link running ledger with a 4/o pennel was setup. The hope was for any bass that might have been around – although deep down, I really didn’t expect to snag one.

After about 30 minutes, the rod tip pulled down slightly and then just started nodding away. I struck and retieved a small dogfish of the lesser spotted variety any potential blank was thus saved. Unhooked and retured, the stupid fish swam back to the waters edge and was promptly stranded. Why do they all do that?

Half an hour later, another one hit the shingle, was unhooked and released for it to do the same – weird. The rest of the night was spent equally between standing there doing nothing and unhooking dogfish. They weren’t there in plague numbers but just enough to keep things ticking over. It certainly beats the persistant rod tip rattling and constant reeling in of tiny whiting and slugs.

I packed up at about 2.30am with a final tally of 11 LSD’s. Considering I wasn’t expecting much, it turned out to be a pretty good session. Another joy was being able to fish without having to wear my floaty suit, just the salopettes and leaving the jacket in the car. It wasn’t by any means warm but it wasn’t too cold either.


Seaford Dabs

By , 22 January, 2011 14:06

dab After nearly three weeks of no fishing, I had to get out no – matter if I caught anything or not – I just wanted to get on the beach. So after finishing work, I shot home, loaded the car and headed for Seaford Beach armed with some freshly acquired lugworm from The Tackle Box. I arrived on the beach at about 8.15pm – two hours after low water – to a still night, clear sky and calm sea with just a whiff off a breeze coming from the back of the beach. The plan was to fish up and over the mid-night high water and maybe a couple of hours down.

First task was to pick an access spot that I could get down to get to the water. Environment Agency ‘Shingle shifters’ have been re-profiling the beach recently, overhauling the sea defences (old news item). The beach is virtually flat on the top at street level, suddenly dropping (almost vertical in places) around 8′ down on to the tidal part of the shingle. A word of advice here: If you’re planning on fishing the beach at night, either check your chosen spot out in daylight first and make sure you have adequate lighting and take care when wondering off towards the sea. It wouldn’t be too difficult to plunge down this abyss  if you’re not careful. The other thing to bear in mind is an escape route for when the tide gets up, this steep bank is very loose and could be bloody difficult to climb up if it’s one of the steeper parts.

whiting Once on the beach, I set up two rods, both with size 4 two hook flappers which I baited with lug tipped off with this strips of squid. Both chucked out and I settled down to a coffee. It wasn’t long before the rod tips were rattling to the familiar whiting and sure enough whiting were the first fish to come ashore – really small ‘pins’. They weren’t in the frenzied amounts we had late last year but it was enough to keep busy. Had the first of the nights dabs at about 9.15 pm or so, not a huge size but at least it wasn’t a rockling (slug)! I had been thinking about the lack of slugs when – to put the mockers on it, the first one was landed within minutes.

lesser spotted dogfish There was a steady stream of small fish through the night, consisting of whiting, dabs and slugs. Just before mid-night I had a half decent 37cm whiting and then about an hour later, I had the first dogfish of the year. Things started to tail off after this and by 2.30, it had dried up completely which is just a s well as bait had run out.

Tally for the night was half a dozen dabs (two keepers by the fact they were gut hooked), dozens of ‘pin’ whiting one decent whiting, one lesser spotted dogfish and numerous slugs. Lovely night to be out and a few fish too, so I was well pleased. Still can’t wait for spring to come in and fishing in earnest can start.

Splash Point Sole

By , 7 November, 2010 18:33

Seaford soleI hit Seaford beach last night only to find that it was cram packed, Not sure if there was a competition on or not but I’ve not seen that many people out for a long time. After much self debating, I finally decided to fish some spare space up at Splash point and found a spot just West of the point itself and where I had no-one to my left which gave some leeway for me to move if I wanted.

I was not that hopeful of a good result considering that the sea was flat calm, I had missed low water and the early flood tide, plus it was a tad noisy with the firework display up behind me somewhere on the greens. There was no hint of a breeze and the sky was overcast but with large clear patches.

One rod was set up with a size 2 two hook flapper baited with lugworm and the other was rigged with a 4/0 pennel on a long link running ledger baited with whole squid. With both rods out, I relaxed with a coffee and watched some of the fireworks – which I have to say were pretty crap. Now, if people are going to bugger up my fishing, I wish they would at least make the effort to entertain me.

Fishing was very slow, with nothing for the first hour or so, not even any whiting jumping on the hooks every five seconds. I have to say though, it made a nice change just be able to relax and enjoy the time, rather than casting and reeling in ‘pins’ on a frantic never ending basis. The first knock of the night resulted in the first bloody rockling of the season; I prayed that it wasn’t going to a rockling only event. I wonder if it was as whiting free on the rest of the beach as it was where I was.

It all went dead until about 9.15, when there was small pull down bite on the worm rod and then nothing – pah!. I left it while I finished my coffee and then saw the rod tip go mental in a series of plucks and pulls. I lifted into what seemed like dead weight and felt like weed with a bit of flapping. It wasn’t until I got it into the shallows that things livened up a bit, with the fish going ballistic that I thought this might a decent fish. Once on the shingle, I could see a thumping sole flapping about and when I lifted it up, it felt like a nice weight. Had to cut the snood, as it had taken the size 2 deeply and once despatched it weighed in at 2lbs 4oz – woohoo a new personal best which beat my previous best by 12oz. The photo really doesn’t do it justice, it was a well conditioned firm thick fish of 40cm on the nose.

That was it as far as the worm rod went, with no other bites at all and still no whiting. It wasn’t until just before the 11pm high water that I had the next fish – an LSD (lesser spotted dogfish) that took the whole squid bait reasonably close in. Once released, I re-baited with another squid and chucked it back out. It wasn’t long before another ‘doggy’ was on the beach and then that was it for the rest of the night.

I stuck it out until about 1am before jacking it in. It was perhaps one of the quietest nights I’ve spent on the beach there but it was a most memorable one. It’s always great walking away with a new personal best.

Back to Seaford

By , 1 November, 2010 15:19

After being out of the game for a week or so and then one session in Hampshire, I returned to one of my usual haunts that is Seaford beach last night. Arrived at a section just east of the Beachcomber about 4 hours before before low water. Flat calm, slightly coloured sea with a slight swell, no wind and a clearing sky didn’t bode too well.

Used one rod with a size 2, two hook flapper, baited with lugworm tipped with squid which I chucked as far as possible. Before I could even turn to set up the gear, the rod started bouncing around in that tell-tale whiting fashion. I brought it in to find a whiting double shot. Unhooked and returned, I re-baited and bunged it out again. This time, I had more time and set up the other rod with a 4/0 pennel on a long link running ledger and baited with whole squid. This was cast out just beyond what breaking water there was.

For the next hour or so, it was non-stop whiting on the worm baits – all small though. There was a dead period about an hour before low before it picked up again. I swapped the flapper for a single 2/0 rig with a DVice – again baited with lug and squid.

Just after low, I had a gentle pull down and nodding on the whole squid. I lifted into the fish, there was a brief lethargic struggle and an LSD (lesser spotted dogfish) was soon on the beach. The doggie was released, the hooks filled again and cast back out. In the meantime, yet another whiting was brought in on the other rod.

There was another tug on the squid and a schoolie bass of about 12″ was soon beached. After releasing the critter, I re-baited and stuck it out just a bit further out (still only about 15 -20 yards though). Another pull down and yet another LSD was soon on the shingle.

I had a few more whiting on the worm bait before calling it a night at about 2am. I could have hung on for another couple of hours but to be honest, I saw little point and would prefer to save my back for the bigger tides next week with the prospect of saw decent wind and a change in the conditions.

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